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Childminders & toddler groups

(18 Posts)
biggleswadebaby Thu 27-Feb-14 16:47:23

I'm meeting with childminders to look after 6mo DS full-time. Some said they go to baby/toddler groups every single day. Is this normal/good for a 6mo, or a cop-out to save the CM from having to plan other activities? I'm new to this and dont know, would realy like to hear other parents and CMs experiences please.

TravellingToad Thu 27-Feb-14 16:50:33

For a toddler they probably are really good to let off steam. A 6m old prob couldn't care less either way. Also the group will only be 1-2 hours out of the day so they should still do other activities.

bookcave Thu 27-Feb-14 17:04:38

I go to 2 toddler groups with my DC - at one group the 3 childminders who go completely ignore their mindees and clearly regard the group as "time off" for them. They are rude and resentful if they're required to do anything - they won't even change a nappy until other parents have pointed out several times that the mindee smells, they frequently leave the room to make phone calls etc.

At the other group I go to, there are 2 CMs and they're great - they chat but are keeping an eye on their mindees and deal with behaviour, nappy changes etc as you'd expect of any parent or cm.

So I think it depends entirely on the CM. Do you know anyone who goes to the groups and could tell you?

HSMMaCM Thu 27-Feb-14 17:41:48

Can you go to the toddler groups and see them in action. I take mindees to toddler groups sometimes, for their benefit not mine. It's supposed to be a home from home environment and parents take their children to toddler groups.

Babies love watching all the movement. Older children make friends with local children. I might get a hot cup of tea if I'm lucky grin.

I use local parks and forests a lot, because I hate to see children shut in a room with the same toys all the time.

I also agree that there are some CMs who give us all a bad name by ignoring their mindees at groups. There is a definite distinction between letting them play independently and not having a clue what they're up to.

biggleswadebaby Thu 27-Feb-14 17:52:28

its the frequency i'm worried about. 5 a week seems quite a lot, also some that have been mentioned arent very local so a lot of time will be spent in the car. just wondered if this id normal

HSMMaCM Thu 27-Feb-14 18:08:34

It's up to you to choose the type of care that suits you. If you were at home, would you go out most days? Or stay in most days? Do you want your Childcare to reflect this? Visit a few different CMs and get a feel for how they run their business and get some references from other parents.

Lucylouby Thu 27-Feb-14 20:35:47

I'm a cm and try to go out every day. Some days it will be a toddler group, one day a week I go to a music group, we might go to the shops, to the park, to the garden centre, to the woods, out for a picnic, to the farm, there are so many alternatives to what we do, depending on the weather etc. I personally wouldn't go to a toddler group every day, there's a lot more world to explore than inside a hall every day. There is a lot of day to fill though, if you drop of at 8 and pick up at 5. Even if you are at toddlers for 2 hours in the morning, there is still plenty of time for activities. Why don't you Go to the toddler groups she attends and see how she is interacting with the children. Is she busy with them while she's there, or is she sitting chatting the whole time with her friends? That might give you an idea of what she would be like with your baby.

slightlyconfused85 Thu 27-Feb-14 20:58:07

My CM takes my daughter and her other mindees out most mornings. They go to a toddler group, a drop-in at another childminders house, or to a garden centre or children's farm. She takes them home for lunch, and they have their nap and the afternoon in her house where she plays with them and does little activities.
My DD and the other children love it, they are learning, interacting and getting out in the fresh air where possible.
I think it's brilliant - to be honest I find it a bit odd to suggest it is a cop-out. If I was looking after several toddlers I would be looking for things to do most days too!

biggleswadebaby Fri 28-Feb-14 09:56:54

Thanks for the posts. I'm all for getting out and about to parks, farms, museums and wouldn't take a childminder who wanted to stay in all day! I suppose i'm with Lucylouby thinking the inside of a hall isnt where I want DS to spend every morning!!!! Its just a few cms have said they go to toddler groups every day so wasn't sure if I was the uodd one out thinkingit lacked imagination...

minderjinx Fri 28-Feb-14 10:13:26

I find that even quite small babies benefit from being out and about and getting a bit of fresh air and opportunities to look at new things and meet new people. I agree the main benefit of going out to groups is to let the toddlers mingle, but don't forget that your baby will be one of those toddlers all too soon. I certainly wouldn't choose a CM who stayed in just because she had a baby. In defence of CMs who are not constantly at their child's shoulder, many do consciously choose the safe environment of the group to stand back and let the children in their care have a bit of a long rein and become more sociable and self-reliant for an hour or two in the day (obviously the key words being "in their care" not totally ignored!). At the other end of the spectrum are CMs and parents who constantly hover, never stop talking to their child(ren) and who constantly interfere with their choices, which is not at all helpful to their development.

Personally, I think groups in large halls are great for letting the toddlers have a run about and use up some energy, especially in this weather when getting outdoors can be difficult. We still have loads of time at home to do crafts and the like.

looselegs Sun 02-Mar-14 14:33:54

Most CM work alone and are often isolated so it's a way for them to meet others.It may be the only adult conversation they have all day!Groups are only for an hour or two and it's good for children to socialise and interact with other children,no matter how small.As long as LO enjoys it,then I don't see it as a problem.

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 02-Mar-14 15:24:08

if working 5 days a week then i try and do something that is outside the house each day

whether toddler groups/parks/feeding ducks/seeing friend with same aged children etc

in winter/cold/wet weather it is hard to do outside activities so going to a M&T daily gets kids out and about/play with new toys/socialize and learn to share etc

often age depending,cms/nannies will go out am, come home have lunch,younger kids nap and then do an activity with older ones till school run etc

covgalxxx Fri 07-Mar-14 15:05:40

i am in the final stages of being a childminder, and i moved here 4 years ago and have not made one friend living here, i go to baby groups with my own dd and she loves it and it makes her tired, she rarely sleeps, so when i am a childminder i hope i don't get judged going to baby groups, i will take them to the park shops days out, i don't drive, but i hope by doing this i make friends as much as the children ,with other mums and childminders, cause i am lonely now and i am not working, have to say 5 days is lot, but least the kids go home and not sitting in front of the tv.

anewyear Fri 07-Mar-14 18:54:13

where abouts are you, there may be someone on here that can meet up prehaps?

TwittyMcTwitterson Fri 07-Mar-14 20:56:03

Depends on what you're after. It's nice to do something away from the house but my cm feels that if you go to groups everyday you are not giving the home from home experience a cm should. I kind of agree as long as DD is entertained

Karoleann Fri 07-Mar-14 21:32:00

Would you want to go with your 6mo to a toddler group every day?
Do you think they would benefit? Is your baby going to go every day of the week to a childminder? Do you have an alternative?
All babies are different, yours may love it.
If you have little option, could you do 2 days childminder and 3 days nursery?
Of my three 1 would have hated any kind of toddler group, one would have sat there and loved watching the other children play and one would have tolerated it.

Eletheomel Sat 08-Mar-14 15:01:25

I got a CM for my eldest when he was a year old and one of the things I was most pleased about was the fact that she took him out to various things most days of the week (1 official toddler groups, then 2-3 other sessions run by the childminders, and usually a playdate too). Most weeks there was 1 morning at home, but the rest of the time they were out and about. I thought this was great as we live in a smallish town, so I viewed it as a good way for my son to meet other kids that he would then follow through playgroup, nursery, school.

I never considered (for one second) that taking him out to socialise every day might be a disadvantage [hmmm].

covgalxxx Sun 09-Mar-14 00:19:36

I'm in the Wirral x

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